Visit our new interactive Atlas!

Israel

What's the child marriage rate? How big of an issue is child marriage?

There is no publicly available government data on child marriage in Israel.

Are there country-specific drivers of child marriage in this country?

Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that women and girls are somehow inferior to men and boys.

There is limited information on child marriage in Israel.

Child marriages reportedly still take place under the radar despite being illegal. In 2017, the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services arrested a man moments before he married a 14 year old girl.

A 2016 report by the Israel Parliament on Knesset’s Law and Justice Committee states that 716 child marriages took place between 2014 and 2015, with only 37 cases investigated by officials.

What has this country committed to?

Israel has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Israel co-sponsored the 2017 Human Rights Council resolution recognising the need to address child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian contexts.

Israel co-sponsored the 2013 and 2014 UN General Assembly resolutions on child, early and forced marriage, and signed a joint statement at the 2014 Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.

Israel ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1991, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

During its 2017 review, the CEDAW Committee raised concerns about the persistence of forced marriages among Arab and Bedouin communities in Israel, and recommended that the government take further legislative and educational steps to eliminate this.

What is the government doing to address this at the national level?

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Marriage Age Law the minimum legal age of marriage is 18 years. Marriage under 18 can be allowed for girls above 16 years old, with permission granted by the Family Courts in exceptional circumstances.

Source

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Joint statement on child, early and forced marriage, HRC 27, Agenda Item 3, [website], 2014, (accessed April 2018)

Sputnik International, Israeli Police Prevent a Child Marriage Minutes Before Wedding Ceremony Starts, [website], 2018, (accessed May 2018)

UN CEDAW, Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of Israel, 2017, p.8,  (accessed May 2018)

United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, (accessed February 2018)

* Child marriage prevalence is the percentage of women 20-24 years old who were married or in union before they were 18 years old (UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2017)